Regulatory Update

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Originally presented by Matt Ames (Miller & Van Eaton, P.L.L.C.) at the 2009 Broadband Properties Summit in Dallas, Texas.

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Regulatory Update

  1. 1. REGULATORY UPDATE Broadband Properties Summit April 29, 2009 Dallas, Texas Matthew C. Ames Miller & Van Eaton, P.L.L.C.
  2. 2. Introduction <ul><li>Changes at the FCC. </li></ul><ul><li>Exclusive Contracts. </li></ul><ul><li>CALEA / Wi Fi Recordkeeping. </li></ul><ul><li>Satellite Dish Rule. </li></ul><ul><li>DTV Transition. </li></ul><ul><li>Broadband Stimulus Initiatives. </li></ul><ul><li>Mandatory Access. </li></ul>
  3. 3. The New FCC <ul><li>New Chairman nominated. </li></ul><ul><li>1-2 other seats (out of 5) will change. </li></ul><ul><li>Focus likely is on “new media.” </li></ul>
  4. 4. Exclusive Contracts <ul><li>Ban on exclusive access agreements with cable MSOs and telcos still in effect. </li></ul><ul><li>Oral argument in appeal: April 17. </li></ul><ul><li>Decision likely summer 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>No action in second proceeding: bulk agreements, exclusive marketing, PCO exclusives. </li></ul><ul><li>FCC likely waiting until appeal decided. </li></ul>
  5. 5. CALEA <ul><li>Communications Assistance to Law Enforcement Act: WiFi, other Internet providers must be able to comply with warrants for access to network. </li></ul><ul><li>Property owner may be subject to CALEA. </li></ul><ul><li>New issue: Bills introduced in Congress requiring any provider of “electronic communication service” to keep records of all users for at least two years. </li></ul>
  6. 6. Satellite Dish Rule (OTARD) <ul><li>No news at FCC. </li></ul><ul><li>New technical issue: femtocells. </li></ul><ul><li>Femtocells boost wireless signal within a home: but can interfere with each other and with signals of commercial providers. </li></ul>
  7. 7. Satellite Dish Rule (OTARD) (cont’d) <ul><li>OTARD rule applies to femtocells, as it does to WiFi antennas. </li></ul><ul><li>Owner cannot prevent resident from installing. </li></ul><ul><li>What if resident’s femtocell antenna interferes with provider using rooftop sites, under agreement with property owner? </li></ul>
  8. 8. Digital Transition <ul><li>Feb. 11, 2009, deadline extended until June 12, 2009. </li></ul><ul><li>Any building receiving analog off-air signals will lose broadcast TV service on June 12. </li></ul><ul><li>Congress/FCC issuing additional converter box coupons to consumers. </li></ul><ul><li>Television sets in common areas: not eligible for coupon. </li></ul><ul><li>Cable MSO’s converting on own timetable – not affected by June 12 deadline. </li></ul>
  9. 9. Broadband Stimulus Initiatives <ul><li>Over $7 billion in “stimulus package” for broadband deployment. </li></ul><ul><li>Aimed at “underserved” and “unserved” areas. </li></ul><ul><li>Rules/application process still being developed. </li></ul><ul><li>May be opportunity for developers – especially planned unit developments in outer suburbs – to reduce capital costs. </li></ul><ul><li>Other possible public-private partnership opportunities. </li></ul>
  10. 10. Mandatory Access <ul><li>Mandatory access statutes adopted in monopoly era. </li></ul><ul><li>What rights do competitors have? </li></ul><ul><li>Depends on state law. </li></ul>
  11. 11. Mandatory Access (cont’d) <ul><li>Examples: </li></ul><ul><li>1. Minnesota: Owner must grant access to “cable communications system.” System operator must make facilities available to alternative providers. </li></ul><ul><li>2. NY, DC: Owner can’t interfere with installation of “cable television facilities.” </li></ul><ul><li>3. Illinois: Owner can’t prevent resident from getting cable television from “franchisee.” </li></ul>

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